You say your Doberman is a love. He greets you when you come home with lots of doggy kisses. He is a dream when you take him for a walk, never barking or pulling at the leash. He’s great with kids, too, playful, stub of a tale wagging.
So why doesn’t your insurance company like him? A fact you discovered the hard way when you sought reasonable Illinois homeowners insurance quotes and didn’t get any.
The answer is: statistics. Some breeds of dog—or mixes of that breed—are considered bite risks simply because on an annual basis, more bite claims are filed by their owners than filed by owners of other breeds. Some dog breeds are bigger bite risks than others.
To an insurance company, there’s nothing to love about that, because it means medical costs and a possible lawsuit they may have to pay on. Or, YOU might have to pay if you are not covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
You may not know that many insurers will not give a policy to a homeowner who has dogs on an unofficial bite-risk list. That’s right. If you’ve got a chow-chow, Akita, Dobie, Rottie, pit bull or even a Great Dane, you may find getting insured difficult.
You and your dog aren’t being personally targeted. It’s just business. Insurers want to minimize their costs in payouts and they can do that by restricting coverage if certain dogs are in the house.
It’s important that you disclose you dog’s breed to your insurer—because if you don’t, and he bites someone, you may be held personally liable. All medical expenses and even lawsuit payouts would have to come from your personal funds. So it’s not smart to withhold this information.
You might ask your insurer if they will cover you and your dog if you put him in a reputable training course. Or if you muzzle him when he is around people. Every company is different.
It is entirely possible that you will be completely refused coverage by some insurers. Or you might find that coverage will be afforded you, but at a higher premium rate. Be prepared to pay higher premiums if your dog is on the frequent-bite list.
It’s something to think about before you adopt your next furry friend.